23 Intense Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research

The stem cells are undifferentiated or partly-differentiated cells that can specialize in various sections. These stem cells are abundantly present in the adult and the embryonic organisms in equal measure. It is the stem cells that give rise to the tissues that ultimately develop into full-fledged organs.

On the other hand, stem cell research is an in-depth investigation of these stem cells’ activities. It seeks to know more about them and the various ways in which they may be used to solve a couple of medical challenges that come along. Though noble, this activity is not without its fair share of criticism.

This technique or form of research, no doubt, has some fringe benefits. In our discussions here below, we seek to examine the pros and cons of this research. Below are some of those benefits for your consideration:

Pros of Stem Cell Research

1. More Effective Treatments.

It is hoped that through this research, humanity shall be able to find more effective treatments to a variety of sicknesses whose treatments have been elusive thus far. Particularly, this technique could provide the breakthrough we need to handle and reverse terminal illnesses. These are sicknesses that simply never go away no matter what.

Some of the most likely diseases to gain cure from this research are:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes (Type 1)
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Spinal cord injuries, and indeed, so much more!

 

2. Fix Bodily Issues and Problems.

Stem cells, as we have already explained, can differentiate into more specialized cells. They also have the salient added advantage of fitting any cell in the body. By this fact, the cells have infinitely many benefits and applications. Chief of these is the ability to fix bodily issues and problems.

Through stem cell research, we can trigger the cells to yield forth the necessary ends. In this sense, the research gives us the empowerment we need to let the cells do their job. Most important, it lets us find practical ways to implement the same practically.

3. Deepen our understanding of inherited diseases.

Stems cells are basic cells that are still growing and developing. They have not yet attained maturity status. In the course of researching, scientists can monitor how the cells grow and develop. While at it, the scientists may also note the defects and how they emerge.

It is these studies that enable the researchers now to get to know more about inherited diseases. Those diseases, if and when the same exist, they inflict some abnormalities in the proper growth and development of the cells altogether. Such an understanding, no doubt, goes ahead to empower us to treat those issues effectively.

4. Promote the Development of Drugs.

To treat the sicknesses we have already highlighted and explained above, we need to develop appropriate drugs. The knowledge obtained is subsequently used to develop the drugs used to combat the sicknesses that come about. But how is this possible?

Developing proper drugs relies heavily on the proper understanding of the human body and the growth of the organs thereof. It is through this research that we can know and grasp these concepts considerably. Additionally, the exercise helps us to screen the candidates properly for proper diagnosis.

5. Helps to reduce the symptoms of the diseases.

As part and parcel of combating the sicknesses, you will usually have to reduce the symptoms thereof. The research also aims at finding ways and means of reducing the symptoms considerably. In this regard, it suppresses the symptoms to make the same less impacting. That hastens the recovery from such disease s also.

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In the meantime, the alleviation of the symptoms also reduces the pains that may be felt in the course of suffering from that illness. What’s more? The approach also provides you with the knowledge to deepen your understanding of the diseases and future treatments.

6. Lower Dependence on Drugs.

Almost every intervention measure at the moment relies on the drugs. This is not something great. Excessive ingestion of chemicals in the human body system comes along with some undesirable side effects. Examples of these include extensive damages to the liver and other vital organs.

Thankfully, stem cell research promises to develop mitigating diseases without necessarily relying on chemicals and drugs. It is hoped that through these new interventions, we shall report a higher success rate of recovery as well. That will encourage more people to seek treatments in hospitals.

7. Test the Safety and Efficacy of the Drugs.

Even though drugs are not the desirable ways of eliminating sicknesses from off the body, they are here to stay with us, at least in the foreseeable future. Stem cell research can, in fact, also play a role in testing the efficacy of these drugs with a view of improving them altogether.

As part and parcel of testing, researchers can gauge the kinds of stem cells that may yield the highest safety and quality levels. Thus, the drugs so produced in the short run are bound to be more effective than what their counterparts at present can manage.

8. Find ways of Transplanting Tissues.

The transplantation of tissues will be extensively used in sorting out a couple of medical issues in the future. That is due to the permanent nature of the outcomes that they potentially bring along. No other field is as effective in championing this path or avenue better than stem cell research.

It is the regenerative medicines branch that shall reap greatly from this technique for all practical purposes. The use of the stem cells is also bound to make the entire exercise smoother, safer, and have the least side effects manageable.

9. Increase our understanding of how diseases arise.

One of the best ways to combat sicknesses is to find out how they arise and thrive in the first place. No other field of study accords us a deeper understanding than stem cell research. By watching the organs grow in the laboratories and introducing pathogens in the tissues, we can develop better interventions.

An increase in the understanding of the pathogens and how the diseases arise also helps us develop appropriate preventive regimes. Put: we get to find ways to make the sicknesses less prone to arise or intensify if and when the same arise.

10. Broadens Human Anatomy and Physiology.

As a last benefit, stem cell research broadens the human anatomy and physiology. These are two areas that are largely untapped and can also provide further insight into the management of sicknesses and the emergent conditions. Stem cell research tends to provide a deeper understanding of the same.

It does this principally by letting us know the cells’ inner workings, bodily tissues, and the human body’s organs. The total benefits that can arise as a result of this broadened knowledge base are immeasurable. We can only speculate the much we can gain from the same.

11. Aids in Modeling.

To effectively combat a vast array of sicknesses, scientists are increasingly relying on modeling. In this case, they use the pre-clinical data to make inferences about the future of the body’s behaviors. No other discipline than stem cell research helps with the advancement of this know-how.

12 Develop Regulatory Regimes and Authorities.

Every sensitive field has to be regulated for the sake of safety and overall fairness. That of stem cell research is no exception. By investing heavily in the research and understanding, the medical community can develop some solid regulatory regimes to govern stem cell use and research.

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13. Fill Pre-existing Gaps.

The field of stem cell research is currently in its nascent stages. Not much is known about it. Furthermore, some gaps exist presently existing in the field. It is only by digging deeper into the field of stem cells that we may be in the position to fill those gaps and gain a complete understanding of the field altogether.

14. Aids Progressing Cancer Treatments.

Ultimately, the knowledge of stem cells will help us to combat and manage cancer. The insight we receive will undoubtedly help us tackle several cancer sicknesses, more so those hereditary than acquired. Particularly, this approach will help with matters of dealing with tumors.

15. Find ways of mitigating Organ Damages.

Apart from cancer, the knowledge acquired in stem cell research may also be used to deepen our understanding of organ damages and the issues that arise if and when that happens. This is largely made possible when learning how the cells grow and develop to specific organs.

Cons of Stem Cell Research

As expected, the technique is also with its fair share of potential downsides. We now peek into them for your consideration yet again. Here below now are some of the side effects of this kind of research:

1. Unethical by some views.

Most state that it is simply unethical to extract cells from humans and use them in the laboratory for experimentations and testing purposes. Some religious extremists also decry that that is somehow an attempt to play God or mess up his creations.

Then again, some shrewd and unscrupulous scientists also extract these cells from the aborted fetuses. That only goes a long way in deepening the resentments that already exist regarding this subject matter. It is necessary as a matter of fairness to listen to each plea and cry of the society before proceeding.

2. Potentially Risky.

Before the extraction of the cells, the persons concerned are often administered the immunosuppressant. This substance aims at deadening the cells temporarily to render them incapable of detecting pain and sensation. Its purpose, though noble, is often not without some permanent effects. Adding to this list of potential risks is the extensive use of radiation.

The radiation is employed to eliminate the past cells and preserve the immune systems of the targeted cells. In the unlikely event that excessively high radiation levels are released, the cells may be damaged permanently and irreversibly. Also, there is the likelihood of there being other adverse side effects.

3. Difficult to Undertake.

A typical stem cell research exercise is ordinarily difficult to undertake. The process, in its entirety, is riddled with many complicated steps and procedures. From the extraction of the targeted cells to the culture’s growth to the transfer of the same to the host target, to name but a few!

Accompanying this complicatedness is the extensive cost of the entire exercise. Setting up the laboratory, training the technicians, and purchasing the job’s equipment is too costly and way above the mark. Not many firms and institutions may be able to afford them hence.

4. Quite Complicated and Highly Specialized.

Over and above being difficult to undertake, the process is also quite complicated. It takes years of hard work to train a researcher from scratch. Then again, the actual process of training in and of itself is quite expensive indeed. Hence, be prepared to part with too much money if there is any realistic chance of getting things right.

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Also, stemming, as a byproduct of this is the risk of sustaining heavy damages and other adverse side effects if things take a turn for the worse. The damages that the entire exercise may bring forth are certainly deadly and costly to care for.

5. Potentially Threatening to the Human Species.

While this technology and form of research are noble, we never know just how it may be used. Some wise people may use the same to alter the human body’s anatomy and physiology adversely. We never know what all these may lead to. Who knows? May it also lead to the cloning of humans? Also, some of the effects may be permanent and irreversible in the long run. Some caution is hence advised.

The problem gets worse if and when a large percentage of a population is affected by the same. That could lead to permanent distortions of the body of humans as a whole. Yet again, the utmost care and due diligence have to be put in place to ensure that every precaution is taken to safeguard human life’s sanctity.

6. Cheapens Human Life.

A typical stem cell research reduces human life’s worth to an animal or any other sample. This is not good. Human life remains, by all means, sacred and should be held with the high esteem it is supposed to be. Only by putting in place appropriate measures may this end be realized.

7. Allergic Reactions in the Body.

Some scientists have noted some allergic reactions in the body of the persons who are administered stem cells. Some cells have been noted to react adversely with the cells of the host where they are injected. This has been the most serious drawback insofar as the advancement of stem cell research is concerned.

8. Poorly Funded.

Many governments, donors, and financers are unwilling to pour more of their money into the field of stem cell research for various reasons. Some decry its unethical nature; others are just unwilling to see human life being taken lightly, while others are under pressure to hold their horses. With poor funding, we will never get to realize the full potential of this field. The same goes for the kinds of findings that may come out of it.

Conclusion

We now rough up the discussions there. Our hope and expectations are that you have a fair view of the issue of stem cell research. Why not go ahead and implement the provisions you have so required? As you may see, this technology is here to stay with us.

It is unrealistic to even think of it going away any time soon! Thus, it is only a matter of fairness to balance its strong points and weak points. That may mean putting in place the measures that are intended to mitigate the harsh effects while at the same time, the prop is positive effects.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-marrow-transplant/in-depth/stem-cells/art-20048117

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-marrow-transplant/in-depth/stem-cells/art-20048117

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell

http://www.stemcellresearch.umich.edu/overview/faq.html#section2

https://www.themiamiproject.org/about-stem-cells/


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